Click to listen to the audio drama of X-23:
Read by author Michèle Aimée, Music by Guinevere
My letter comes to you--if all goes as planned--through a wormhole of Microvac and back several thousand, maybe several million years. I am writing to tell you all is not as it should be. It’s an illusion. Your sun will burn out and you will move to other galaxies. You will deplete the supply of each earth you live on, and then learn to use the sun, and deplete its energy, moving galaxies before each sun becomes a white dwarf. You will populate the galaxies. All of them. And you’ll learn to live forever. You will learn that you don’t like your bodies, and that living in your mind is so much more fun and that you feel powerful there. In your mind, you can leap great distances, and swim without breath. There you are master of your own world.
You’ll realize that it’s not enough, and you will get lonely sitting behind a screen, living in your mind. You will all connect socially, as you always do. Social networking goes far beyond what was once known as the Internet. We all link in. We all connect to one server so we can know everything about everyone. In the System, we live to indulge; here, we can do anything. But this time it’s better than when you lived in your mind. Here, you live in a world where your body becomes limitless.
But generations will forget this Microvac, this Matrix we live in, and it will become the norm, and we will live just as we did before. Our minds grow dull, we grow dull, and the machines begin to think for us. Here, in this future, we don’t think or process at all. The machines do that for us. They move us, and tell us how to live our lives. They are, essentially, puppet masters.
The outside worlds go to waste, and humans become like immortal leeches, depleting the supply of the innumerable solar systems. But now the suns are all white dwarves, the skies are blackened, and the stench of rot squeezes the life out of fresh lungs.
The machines realized they couldn't depend on power of stars or worlds anymore. We were already hooked into the system, feeding off their artificial realities, so the machines decided it would be mutually beneficial to, in turn, feed off of us as well. And it worked. For a time.
Now our bodies and minds live in a system that feeds off us while we feed off it. We live in paradise in our heads, stupidly unaware of the outer worlds; thoughtlessly unaware of what we’ve done; ignorant of the leeches we’ve become. We’ve forgotten our history. The machines generated stories to cloud our minds with counterfeit bliss so they could continue to live off us.
And now? Now the worlds are dried up. The suns and stars are gone. The moons are space waste. We don’t know who we are, or where we came from. We don’t know what we’ve done. You won’t want to understand, but when you learn to become immortal, you will not want to die. I’m warning you. You must not become immortal. You must spare the galaxies this strain. It was never meant to be. I know this, because the machines are dying. They told me they are dying, because we are dying.
I am X-23 and I just woke up. This... is my last breath.
©Michèle Aimée, 2017
First written/ published 2011